Let's talk about sex.
I mean, let's talk about not having sex. Yeah...I'm going there.
ack. I've been wrestling with writing this for months. MONTHS. Trying to find the right words without sounding preachy or judge-y is hard. I don't know if I accomplished it. *deep breath*
I don't have sex. It's not because I don't want to have sex because I definitely want to have sex. It's one of those I’m-waiting-until-I-get-married things.
Most people assume that I’ve had sex [because obviously a 30-something would have, right?], so if I'm in a situation when I feel like I want to say more than a make a non-committal facial gesture it feels like kind of a big deal. The reality of my experience has been that when this comes up in conversation, the response to me is usually an anti-climactic, “Oh.”
[I seriously hope you’re saying, “oh” right now and not “amy, this is so weird.”]
Growing up as a Christian girl [I'm sure this exists for others out there, but this is my experience] we're taught that "sex is bad" or "sexual feelings are wrong/dirty/inappropriate" and "good girls do ____ and don’t do ____." I couldn't even pinpoint who's doing this teaching, but it definitely lives at a lot of churches and spreads like wildfire through impressionable youth. While I’m OK with a stance on abstinence, I think the part of the conversation that’s missing is, well...the conversation. What do you do with those feelings? How do you practice self-control? How do you integrate loving your body, honoring your faith, and figuring out romantic relationships? I’m not sure why there is such a strong value judgement based on feelings and urges and these things happening in our bodies that we have to figure out how to handle.
I grew up in a church and family that talked about those things. For the most part I turned out pretty normal. I like to say I'm abnormally normal. I don't know if my self-perception is skewed or not, but that's the space where I'm residing. [DON'T BURST MY BUBBLE!]
The way I see it we have two choices: 1. act on those feelings/urges or 2. learn how to not act on those feelings/urges. I'm not making a judgment on people who choose to have sex or not. I can only make the decisions that are best for me.
Do I think the path to heaven is through our genitals?
Uh. No, I definitely don't.
The truth is, I don't actually feel a lot of pressure to have sex because I'm confidently grounded with who I am. I do feel like I'm supposed to feel shame for not having sex, and that's a load of bullshit.
When I remain authentic to the things I believe, it's reflected in the positivity and joy I reflect to the world. Does that make sense? I’ll describe it more: if I can live in a way that aligns with my morals, values, and beliefs then the person I present is an accurate representation of my true self. There's no hiding or pretending that I'm someone I'm not.
Example: You know when you're exploring your boundaries...that thing that wasn't right for the you a year ago miiiight be OK with the you of now? Like when you were 18 you didn't want to drink, but now that you're 20 you might go to a party and drink a few boozy beverages. After the fact you might question your actions [we've all been there, right?] and you get moody and grumpy and that feeling of being unsettled deep down in your gut? I'm pretty sure that unsettled feeling would haunt me if I chose to have sex right now. I've made a commitment to myself and my future partner [if that's part of my life story] that I'm a one man lady. Sure, I wrestle with the God-Jesus-Spouse-Me quadrilateral, and how that comes together and what it all means and the complications of where my faith and life and the bible and social norms run into each other, but I'm down with that wrestle.
This is part of my story. If someone can relate to it—that’s awesome. If someone can have a different perspective—that’s awesome. If you’re going to look at me negatively—that’s not so awesome.
I don't have any good ideas for comment topics today, so you can just say, "hi!" if you feel so inspired. (-:
The winner is #4 - Maggie! woo!